SOCIAL care providers have raised concerns that funding for infection prevention and control and PPE is being removed while Covid infection rates are rising in Scotland.

Scottish Care said the Scottish Government’s decision to remove funding with only two weeks’ notice is “short-sighted and potentially dangerous” to carers and those being cared for.

The organisation said the funding had been “essential” in supporting the sector and its workforce to continue providing safe, quality care and support to people living at home and in care homes across the country.

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“The shift to remove this funding is at complete odds with what is happening on the ground, where we are seeing Covid-19 rates increase, and the necessity to continue to safely implement Scottish Government-issued guidance which clearly recommends infection prevention control measures and PPE use remain in place alongside the successful vaccination programme,” said a Scottish Care spokesperson.

The way that social care is usually paid for is through local authorities or health and social care partnerships setting a rate for providers, which Scottish Care says is “significantly cheaper” than if councils were to deliver it themselves.

“Funding for this financial year does not cover the guidance outlining the new way of working, which has kept people safe from Covid-19,” said the spokesperson.

“There is no capacity in the system to change this, leaving care providers wondering how they will be able to fill the funding gap. For ministers to remove funding with two weeks’ notice is short-sighted and potentially dangerous to those who work in and access care and support.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “In March 2022, Covid‑19 financial support for adult social care providers was extended until June 30, 2022, and it was confirmed that the current local PPE Hub arrangement will remain in place until September 30, 2022.

“In addition, the social care staff support fund will now be extended until September 30, 2022, and financial support arrangements related to testing and vaccinations will continue until March 31, 2023.”